Is Simplifying Life the Secret to Happiness?

There’s a story about a student who approached a Zen master and said “I want happiness.”

The teacher replied, take out “I” from the sentence, then take out “want”, and you will be left with “happiness.”

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It makes for a great story.

But does it mean all we have to do is strip everything into its simplest form? Turn everything into black and white. On to the straight and narrow path to happiness.

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I wish it was that easy.

That happiness is only a matter of subtraction.

Go down to the barest, lose your ego, lose any desire, suffer no disappointment.

I believe it goes beyond that. We can’t stop being human. We would not give up being able to experience joy in the birth of a child, even if it means feeling the deep sadness in the departure of a loved one.

We will be at times sad, angry, abhorred, afraid, and, yes, also happy.

It is in the journey, not at the end.

The simplest sentence has no words at all.
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Simplify

8 comments

    • It’s not easy for anyone, Patty.
      It’s even harder when there is so much social pressure.
      I guess everyone who can avoid “excess” in some ways are still admirable.

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